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Finally buying an HDTV

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Finally buying an HDTV

Old 01-04-11, 10:30 PM
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Finally buying an HDTV

I have used my 24" Sony Wega SDTV for the last 8-9 years, and I am finally ready to upgrade. I am thinking of going with a 42" HDTV. I sit 5-6 feet away. Would 42" be too large for that distance?

Also, has anyone bought a TV off the Amazon Warehouse? I have bought lots of DVDs and video games from there, but I am a little worried about buying a big ticket item like a TV from there. I was looking around the Warehouse and noticed some pretty deep discounts.
Old 01-05-11, 01:38 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

The best answer about if a TV is going to be too big for your situation that I ever read was "the longer you own the TV the smaller it gets". I can attest to that. I went from a 27 inch to a 60 inch and at first thought it overpowered the room (and first time visitors may think the same), but 3 years later I find myself wondering if I can go bigger next time...

BTW: I sit about 8 feet from the TV and it is fine.
Old 01-05-11, 01:55 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

I too am looking to upgrade. I was thinking of the LG 42LD450, since it's going so cheaply now. My main concerns, however, are color accuracy, black levels and viewing angles. What's the best TV for me?
Old 01-05-11, 09:21 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by DonnachaOne View Post
I too am looking to upgrade. I was thinking of the LG 42LD450, since it's going so cheaply now. My main concerns, however, are color accuracy, black levels and viewing angles. What's the best TV for me?
Try Panasonic plasma. In that size range, it should be the best for all 3 of those.
Old 01-05-11, 09:50 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
I have used my 24" Sony Wega SDTV for the last 8-9 years, and I am finally ready to upgrade. I am thinking of going with a 42" HDTV. I sit 5-6 feet away. Would 42" be too large for that distance?

Also, has anyone bought a TV off the Amazon Warehouse? I have bought lots of DVDs and video games from there, but I am a little worried about buying a big ticket item like a TV from there. I was looking around the Warehouse and noticed some pretty deep discounts.
Nope. I set 10.5 and 12 feet from my 94" screen and love it. Wouldn't mind a little bigger screen.

Originally Posted by DonnachaOne View Post
I too am looking to upgrade. I was thinking of the LG 42LD450, since it's going so cheaply now. My main concerns, however, are color accuracy, black levels and viewing angles. What's the best TV for me?
Thank you for being specific in what your looking for. Spiky's answer is the best. IMO, the Panny Plasma is head and shoulders about about anything else out there and anywhere near the price (and often at any price). Plus it is so popular there is lots of information out there on calibration, set up, etc.
Old 01-05-11, 09:57 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Thank you for being specific in what your looking for.
Sarcasm? I thought including the LG 42LD450 model number would best indicate I was looking for a 1080p tv of around 40"... sorry if I was vague.

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Spiky's answer is the best. IMO, the Panny Plasma is head and shoulders about about anything else out there and anywhere near the price (and often at any price). Plus it is so popular there is lots of information out there on calibration, set up, etc.
I was concerned about the Panasonic plasma's apparent reputation, that the black levels degrade over the first few years. Is this no longer the case?
Old 01-05-11, 10:22 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by DonnachaOne View Post
I was concerned about the Panasonic plasma's apparent reputation, that the black levels degrade over the first few years. Is this no longer the case?
The issue is still there, the question is are you going to notice? The black levels do degrade but it won't be all at once, it will be gradual.
Old 01-05-11, 10:24 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

if you have a costco or something similar, you can get a 42" panansonic plasma for pretty cheap (plus the extra warranty).

beyond that, find the model you want and check slickdeals.net for any deals or see how low it's sold for and so on....
Old 01-05-11, 10:30 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by DonnachaOne View Post
Sarcasm? I thought including the LG 42LD450 model number would best indicate I was looking for a 1080p tv of around 40"... sorry if I was vague.



I was concerned about the Panasonic plasma's apparent reputation, that the black levels degrade over the first few years. Is this no longer the case?
Nope, no sarcasm! Most people come around and say something like "I need a new TV what do I get?". You were very specific with wanting the best color, black level and viewing angle. This gives those giving recommendations something to work with.
Old 01-05-11, 10:43 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

I don't really "buy" the Plasma black levels degrade over time. Oh, I'm not really willing to debate if it happens or not. But what is the result? I'd still take a 10 year old Panny or Pioneer Kuro over a new LCD of a similar price.

In addition to black levels, plasma (mainly Panny and Pioneer) have a more natural, image. Along with the better color.

And I say this as a 46" LCD Samsung TV.
Old 01-05-11, 02:19 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

The HDTV I am looking at is this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-TC-L42U22-42-Inch-1080p-HDTV/dp/B0038KLCQ0/

Amazon Warehouse has a "like new" one for $485. It is LCD though, and the plasma version is $100 more. I will be playing a lot of video games, and aren't plasmas bad for gaming due to the burn-in?

Also, another question. I have never had a surround sound setup before, and I am thinking of getting one with my new TV. The problem is that I live in an apartment complex. Obviously I don't want something that is going to shake the whole building and piss off the neighbors. Are there any surround sound systems suitable for apartments?
Old 01-05-11, 02:35 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
I don't really "buy" the Plasma black levels degrade over time. Oh, I'm not really willing to debate if it happens or not. But what is the result? I'd still take a 10 year old Panny or Pioneer Kuro over a new LCD of a similar price.

In addition to black levels, plasma (mainly Panny and Pioneer) have a more natural, image. Along with the better color.

And I say this as a 46" LCD Samsung TV.
It was either Panny or Pioneer (I'm leaning towards Pioneer) admitted about a year ago that the black level degrade over time was an issue. I haven't read anything that they had resolved the issue. From other reviews I've read the degrade is not noticeable.
Old 01-05-11, 02:41 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
The HDTV I am looking at is this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-TC-L42U22-42-Inch-1080p-HDTV/dp/B0038KLCQ0/

Amazon Warehouse has a "like new" one for $485. It is LCD though, and the plasma version is $100 more. I will be playing a lot of video games, and aren't plasmas bad for gaming due to the burn-in?

Also, another question. I have never had a surround sound setup before, and I am thinking of getting one with my new TV. The problem is that I live in an apartment complex. Obviously I don't want something that is going to shake the whole building and piss off the neighbors. Are there any surround sound systems suitable for apartments?
Burn-in is an issue of the past for the most part, I suspect if you try you can.

As for surround sound, the main issue is the sub. Without a sub you will not piss off your neighbors. Then again you won't get the low rumbbling from the system.
Old 01-05-11, 02:50 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
The HDTV I am looking at is this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-TC-L42U22-42-Inch-1080p-HDTV/dp/B0038KLCQ0/

Amazon Warehouse has a "like new" one for $485. It is LCD though, and the plasma version is $100 more. I will be playing a lot of video games, and aren't plasmas bad for gaming due to the burn-in?

Also, another question. I have never had a surround sound setup before, and I am thinking of getting one with my new TV. The problem is that I live in an apartment complex. Obviously I don't want something that is going to shake the whole building and piss off the neighbors. Are there any surround sound systems suitable for apartments?
I wouldn't worry about burn in. I know many, many people who game it up on plasmas and haven't had any issues.

the U series of panasonics may not have the anti-reflective glass....which I'd definitely recommend.
Old 01-05-11, 03:07 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by DonnachaOne View Post
I was concerned about the Panasonic plasma's apparent reputation, that the black levels degrade over the first few years. Is this no longer the case?
The only question worth asking about the rising black levels is, do they rise above the black level of an LCD? I can't say for sure, but I seriously doubt it.
Old 01-05-11, 03:08 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

I'd get this one

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...S&Sp=C&topnav=

or

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasoni...=1218168619373

http://www.pcrush.com/product/Plasma...-TV?refid=1868
Old 01-05-11, 03:15 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by Jane2001 View Post
It was either Panny or Pioneer (I'm leaning towards Pioneer) admitted about a year ago that the black level degrade over time was an issue. I haven't read anything that they had resolved the issue. From other reviews I've read the degrade is not noticeable.
It's Panny. I have an older 42" and over time the picture has definitely brightened up a bit. Does it make me think less of the display? No...it is still a fantastic TV for us. However...I do have a Pioneer 50" (the last model they made) in our family room and the blacks are black. You won't notice the difference until you have something to compare it to.

I'm in the plasma camp. There are some really good LCD's out there...but as Sdallinct said...plasma has a more natural image and better blacks. And they are much better for sports programming as well.

I wouldn't rule out Samsung plasmas. I don't know about reliability...but they are supposed to have the best color accuracy around. I prefer Panny because of their reputation for reliability...but Samsung is right there in the PQ department.
Old 01-05-11, 03:35 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by nmr1723 View Post
It's Panny. I have an older 42" and over time the picture has definitely brightened up a bit. Does it make me think less of the display? No...it is still a fantastic TV for us. However...I do have a Pioneer 50" (the last model they made) in our family room and the blacks are black. You won't notice the difference until you have something to compare it to.

I'm in the plasma camp. There are some really good LCD's out there...but as Sdallinct said...plasma has a more natural image and better blacks. And they are much better for sports programming as well.

I wouldn't rule out Samsung plasmas. I don't know about reliability...but they are supposed to have the best color accuracy around. I prefer Panny because of their reputation for reliability...but Samsung is right there in the PQ department.

Thanks for the correction. I knew it was one of the two companies that start with a 'P'.

Samsung is on top in sales for the last several years for HDTVs.
Old 01-05-11, 03:44 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
The HDTV I am looking at is this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-TC-L42U22-42-Inch-1080p-HDTV/dp/B0038KLCQ0/

Amazon Warehouse has a "like new" one for $485. It is LCD though, and the plasma version is $100 more. I will be playing a lot of video games, and aren't plasmas bad for gaming due to the burn-in?
I just purchased (in fact it just arrived at 11:30 this morning), basically this same TV but the 37" version. I also have a 32" Panasonic that's virtually identical and am very happy with it, as well as a 52" Samsung LCD in the living room. All good TVs.

I don't have plasmas myself, but as has been pointed out, a lot of the myths about plasmas really aren't true. Regardless of whether you go plasma or LCD, Panasonic is, IMO, an excellent choice. Their plasmas have a great reputation, and I have had a great track record with their electronics in general. My wife and I finally went HD in 2009/early 2010, at which time we gave away the Panasonic 32" CRT we got for our wedding ten years ago, still in great working order. I have a cheapie Panasonic stereo rack system with turntable that still functions after 22 or so years.

Also, another question. I have never had a surround sound setup before, and I am thinking of getting one with my new TV. The problem is that I live in an apartment complex. Obviously I don't want something that is going to shake the whole building and piss off the neighbors. Are there any surround sound systems suitable for apartments?
I think whether you wake up the neighbors or not depends on two things: how loud you play the system in general and whether or not you have the subwoofer cranked (or even connected).

If money and/or space is an object, you can do what I did and go with an HTIB ("home theatre in a box"). This is an all-in-one setup, not high-end of course, just consumer-grade, but if you've never had a surround system before, you can get a surprising amount of bang for your buck.

The system I have is this:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-SC-B...4262085&sr=8-6

It is a 7.1 setup (left, center, and right fronts, two main surrounds, two back surrounds, subwoofer).

I do not live in an apartment, but space is an object as the only place I could put this is in my tiny downstairs office. I have two young children who would demolish the speakers and wires in no time if I connected it to the main HDTV in the living room. Plus, putting it in my office means I can close the door and watch a movie after the kids are in bed, and my wife won't complain. (She always says I play the movies too loud lol). You can adjust the levels of each speaker individually if you desire, to suit your listening needs.

The only wild card is, as I said before, the subwoofer. Although this is a small system, this subwoofer can, and has, rattled my walls on several occasions. That's why you may want to either turn the sub down or not connect it all. But then you will miss out on some major parts of the soundscape when you watch movies with a lot of bass in the soundtrack.

I watched all three Lord of the Rings installments spread out over the last week or so, and can't imagine watching these kinds of movies now without the sub. I interspersed them with some quieter, mono movies in between. The sub could definitely use a rest after the workout I put it through.

Well, hope you find my rambling, general comments of some help. I will say that you should be careful now that you entering the world of HD; you may get severely addicted. I didn't own an HDTV until fourteen or so months ago; now I have three (plus a small monitor in my son's room). Likewise I didn't buy Blu-ray discs until then either; now I own probably close to 100 of them.

Enjoy! There's never been a better time to enjoy movies and other video content at home!
Old 01-05-11, 05:21 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

A couple of other threads for the OP, on surround systems:

First, some other suggestions for systems that might be apartment-friendly (these are components, not integrated systems):

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-home-th...ht-system.html

And another, on a possible downside to the "home theatre in a box" approach:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-home-th...re-system.html

Enjoy!
Old 01-05-11, 07:24 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Hmm. I found this thing called a soundbar.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-SC-H.../dp/B003TIHPC6

I never heard of a soundbar before, but it looks like it is better than built-in TV speakers but not as good as an actual surround sound system. It seems like that may be a nice compromise, especially for apartment living. The reviews seems good.

Looking around at 5.1/7.1 equipment, I think a lot of that is out of my budget. I am not really wanting to spend more than a hundred dollars or so on audio. I don't care nearly as much about audio as I do video.
Old 01-05-11, 07:25 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

The phosphor tech used in plasma is subject to fading. It was far more of a problem with CRT, which was all anyone had for the first 50 years of TV. I wouldn't worry about it too much. The plasma cells are different and much more robust than the CRT phosphor tech was.

Also, what kefrank said.

If you really want to go for a nice pic, save a few grand for a Sony SXRD or JVC D'ILA projector plus screen. Nice!
Old 01-05-11, 07:30 PM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
Looking around at 5.1/7.1 equipment, I think a lot of that is out of my budget. I am not really wanting to spend more than a hundred dollars or so on audio. I don't care nearly as much about audio as I do video.
You may just want to check out compact stereo systems, too. Decent ones should be cheaper than soundbars, sound better than TV speakers, and be able to go louder. Louder isn't better quality, but TV speakers don't always get loud enough. It's a problem with my small setup. (til the kids trashed the TV and made it moot)
Old 01-06-11, 05:55 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
You may just want to check out compact stereo systems, too. Decent ones should be cheaper than soundbars, sound better than TV speakers, and be able to go louder. Louder isn't better quality, but TV speakers don't always get loud enough. It's a problem with my small setup. (til the kids trashed the TV and made it moot)
This is not a bad idea. I had my DVD player hooked up to my stereo for a couple of years, and I loved the sound, especially compared to TV speakers. IMO anything is better than TV speakers (although my wife and I had a Toshiba TV upstairs with pretty good stereo speakers for its size).

If you have a stereo, try it. I have no experience with soundbars.
Old 01-06-11, 09:23 AM
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Re: Finally buying an HDTV

Also keep in mind one thing about longevity in home theater. No one (well most) don't keep their pieces for 10 years anymore even though they could. Why? Some new feature or connection, or super thin model, or something else.

I've seen people in 2-3 years give up their very nice receivers to get one with HDMI. Then give that one up to get on that processes lossless. And not giving that one up to get 3D. And next year they will give that one up for some other cool blue light.

Same with TV's. I'm not to concerned about what my TV will be like in 10 years. They are so cheap now, if you get 4-5 years out of it for whatever reason, you got your moneys worth. But most will likely last 10 years or longer and provide excellent image. But again, most will trade or move it to a "bedroom" set well before than for some feature upgrade reason. Not because the TV is no longer providing a good image.

Heck, I have to admit I have done it a little and I don't believe in upgrading frequently. I'll be in this hours 7 years in the summer. I built my home theater using a 480 X1 projector. Than I moved to a 720p HD projector, and in the spring considering going to 1080p. Yet that first X1 projector is still working just fine. Even on that original bulb.

Of course you don't won't a piece of junk. Skip the $100 surround systems. But I won't put "what will it be like in 10, 15 years" as a top 50 reason to buy something. You will want to upgrade well before than.

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